Chef Ben Alexander, the head of culinary operations for the McNellie’s Group, was born in Inchon, Korea, in 1982. His birth name, Kim Young Duk, inspired us to call the restaurant Mr. Kim’s.
Ben, along with his two biological sisters, came to the United States when they were adopted by Phil and Nancy Alexander in 1984. Phil and Nancy did their best to introduce the kids to Korean food, but finding recipes and specialty ingredients was very challenging at that time. However, their persistence paid off, and eventually, sesame greens, kimchi, and galbi short ribs became a regular part of the family’s Sunday dinners. It’s interesting to note that the recipe for Mr. Kim’s galbi short rib marinade is the same one created by Phil Alexander in 1989.
Chef Ben’s love for Asian food started because of his parents, but it was fortified during his service in the U.S. Navy. He was part of a Naval aviation squadron based out of San Diego and Point Loma. Those West Coast bases were the launch points for several long cruises through Asia where he made port in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Hawaii, and Guam. Those stops expanded his perspective of Asian cuisine, introduced him to new flavors, and convinced him that he wanted to cook professionally.
So, what is Mr. Kim’s? It’s an Asian-influenced steakhouse that is the culmination of Chef Ben’s own experiences with Asian food. Some recipes are classics steeped in tradition, whereas others are new interpretations crafted by Chef Ben.
The only way to truly know Mr. Kim is to dine with us. Make a reservation now. We hope to see you soon.